Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Amos 'n' Andy - 1934 Cartoon - "The Rasslin' Match"

I love the controversy in this stuff. Some comments say it's racist, "they make the blacks talk stupid with big white powder lips." How true, and racist for sure. Some comments say no, it's just good clean fun, after all, "Bugs Bunny wasn't anti-rabbit." That's kind of true too.

Who's right? To me, Kingfish looks just like a slightly shaded in Homer Simpson, and anybody could tell you that the Kingfish is much, much smarter than Homer. Who talks funniest? That's about a tie too. Homer is no Shakespeare, and don't forget he wins the stupid contest hands down.

But racist, yes. Although if you had ever seen, much less talked to, one actual Black person, one time, you'd know how silly it was, you'd see that Black people were just like anybody else.

Or racist, no. Are these characters any more ridiculous, as in worthy of ridicule, than every single character in a Popeye cartoon?

I've seen cartoons from this period that included characters, usually speaking animals, in black-face, acting the fool, or worse, that I thought were distinctly racist, totally inappropriate negative racial stereotypes. But Amos and Andy? Not so clear cut, is it?

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